Archive for September, 2007

Atlas International expands to Belize

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Atlas International , the leading overseas property company, recently announced its latest expansion into Belize. The company is already operating in Cyprus, Spain, the Greek Islands and Turkey.

The properties of Atlas International are located in the main districts of Belize City, Belmopan, Orange Walk Town, Ambergris Caye, San Ignacio, Blue Creek, Cockscomb Basin, Corozal and Chetumal and include apartments, villas, townhouses and duplexes of various styles, sizes and prices.

All of the Atlas properties offer excellent value for money. Accordin gto Atlas International’s European Sales Manager James Dearsley, Belize offers a unique chance for customers to buy into an emerging market as “property prices are low, but enjoying an incredible double figure growth rate”.

It should be noted that foreigners are legally allowed to buy property in Belize and that private property ownership laws in Belize are similar to those in the UK. However, Belize is specially attractive as it has no capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, and as there is a fixed currency exchange rate.

Telemedia and GOB “attacked” by Prosser, PSU and BNTU

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Since Belize Telecommunications Limited was bought back by the Government of Belize in 2004, the company has been involved in numerous litigations – the latest one lodged by American Jeffrey Prosser. Prosser is seeking Supreme Court redress in challenging the Vesting Act passed by Parliament in May 2007.

Under the Vesting Act, Belize Telecommunications Limited became Belize Telemedia Limited. The sale of all the shares by Prosser’s Caribbean banker, he was completely deposed of any ownership in BTL.

Although Prosser has lodged his constitutional claim against the Government of Belize, the new BTL – Belize Telemedia Limited – has emerged front and center to defend the case. On September 25, 2007, former ruling party Senator Eamon Courtenay, Telemedia’s attorney, made a 3-hour long presentation aimed to convince Supreme Court Justice John Muria to strike out Prosser’s case.

His central argument is that Prosser has no standing to challenge the transfer of BTL’s business to Telemedia, as he owns no shares in BTL. According to Courtenay, on August 18, 2006, majority shareholders of BTL approved the business transfer and decided to approach the Government of Belize regarding passing an act to facilitate the process.

Courtenay said that Prosser’s company, Belize Telecom had pledged more than 10 million shares to Royal Merchant Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT), but those shares were lost by Belize Telecom in July after it has defaulted on a $26 million promissory note to the bank that had been due since June 30, 2005.

On July 10, 2007, RBTT sold Prosser’s shares to a subsidiary of BTL, Telemedia Investments Limited, for USD 21.9 million. At the time Belize Telecom owed the bank USD 36 million.

Courtenay revealed that Ecom Ltd., BTL International, Sunshine Holdings, Mercury Communications Limited, BB Holdings Limited, Theirmon and New Horizons Inc. – the group of Michael Ashcroft-controlled companies that together decided to vest BTL’s business in Telemedia – hold 93% of Telemedia’s shares.

The Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), which together hold 567 666 shares in Telemedia, joined Prosser in the constitutional challenge against Telemedia.

3 Ambassadors present Letters of Credence in Belize

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

On September 18, 2007, Ambassadors from 3 South American countries presented their Letters of Credence in Belmopan. The credentials were presented to the Governor-General Sir Colville Young.

The Ambassadors were H.E. Dr. Ventura Emilio Diaz-Mejia representing Colombia, H.E. Luis Chuquihuara Chil representing Peru, and. H.E. Omar Valdiviezo from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Also, the 3 Ambassadors of Colombia, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Peru paid visits to Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa in his Belmopan Office.

Also, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura is currently on an official visit to Belize. On September 18, he a courtesy call on Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa and Governor-General Sir Colville Young.

MoneyGram extends operations to Belize

Friday, September 14th, 2007

MoneyGram International, the 2nd largest money transferring agency in the world that provides payment and financial services since 1940, has decided to extend its operations to Belize.

The company plans to offer a wide choice of payment services and products including money transfers, money orders, express payment services, utility bill payments, etc.

To provide its customers with an affordable and convenient money transfer service, MoneyGram selected three agents – Belize Bank, Omni Networks and Fultec Systems.

Omni Networks is a fully Belizean-owned company providing a wide variety of automated and electronic solution services. According to regional Sales Manager for the Caribbean, Steve Higgins, Omni Networks started offering MoneyGram transfer services in Belize on July 1. However, only receiving and not sending money was possible to agents. Now, Omni provides electronically delivered prepaid cards and telecommunication products as well as merchant services for point of sale and merchant terminals.